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Women under pressure

At least one in every five women will become a victim of rape or attempted rape, and one out of three will be “beaten, coerced into sex ...by a family member or an acquaintance” in her lifetime. Such is the grim picture painted by the State of the World Population 2005 report released last week by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). “Gender-based violence is perhaps the most widespread and socially tolerated human rights violation,” the report added. Rape figured in 17 per cent of all cases of violence reported, while 48 per cent of the cases were of “wife battering”. Domestic violence was the most common physical affront on women, victimising 10 per cent of the female population in some countries and 69 per cent in others, the report said. In her press briefing, UNFPA executive director Thoraya Ahmen Obaid said that about half of the 40 million HIV-infected people all over the world were female.

E-manual

Men routinely claim that they never know what women want. Well, if you have one such bewildered man in your life, you could always introduce him to Rion Williams’ e-book Men’s Guide to Women. Williams, an entrepreneur-photographer, has put together over a decade of ‘personal’ research on what women want in this downloadable e-book that addresses the issue of male-female compatibility, bringing social psychology, theocracy and cultural differentiation into perspective. The book tells men how to relate to women better, make their dates more successful and their marriages fruitful. Well, with divorce rates skyrocketing everywhere, every little bit helps!

Act please!

Mizo women are up in arms over the outdated Mizo Christian Marriage law that allows men to walk out of marriages at will. Social rights activists argue that the law, apart from enslaving women, has increased prostitution in the state. One reason is that the existing law does not allow a Mizo woman to get any money from the husband in the event of divorce. And most of Mizoram’s sex workers do happen to be divorcees. Says B. Sangkhumi, head of MHIP, Mizoram’s apex women’s body, “It’s time we had a Mizo Christian Marriage Act or the Indian Marriage Act.”

Ticking away

If you’ve been losing sleep over how long you could postpone pregnancy to keep your career in perfect shape, here’s good news. Come January 2006, a new fertility test will tell women upto what age they can conceive. It is thought the test will measure a combination of hormones that are released from immature eggs, and gauge how many viable eggs are left. But doctors feel the test is only likely to tell women when fertility is compromised, rather than give them a long-term picture. But David Baynes, CEO of Bio-fusion, a UK company that will market the test, says, “In crass terms it will say, ‘should I hurry up or have I got plenty of time'’” he said.

NAUGHTY 40

Who said a woman’s over the hill after 40' A recent survey by Health Plus magazine says that 40-plus British women are having more fun in bed than anybody else. Of the 2,000 women surveyed, 82 per cent said sex was as important to them as it was when they were in their 20s, 45 per cent said they wanted more sex than ever before, 77 per cent said they enjoyed sex more than when they were younger, and 67 per cent said the best sex they’ve ever had was with their husband. Now you know why Elizabeth Hurley (who turned 40 last June) is as sizzling hot as ever.

Overheard: That woman are better at identifying offside instances in football than men. In fact, in the survey, 59 per cent of women scored as against 55 per cent of men. So the next time you hear him gloat about football being a men’s game, just show him the red card!

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